The Greener Pastures program is operated by the British Columbia Standardbred Horse Adoption Society (BCSHAS). The Society was established in 2003 by its founding partners, the BC Standardbred Association, the BC Standardbred Breeders Society and Fraser Downs. The BCSHAS remains unique in North America as being a Standardbred adoption organization founded and supported by the racing industry.
Since the BCSHAS was established, over 225 Standardbred horses have been placed in caring, recreational homes. Horses coming into the Greener Pastures programs range in age from two to 15, with some older horses also taken in subject to health requirements. The younger horses may not have proven to be competitive while the older ones will have lost a step or two and need to move on to a new career. All of the horses will have benefited from lots of handling and will have good ground manners and knowledge of the bit.
The conversion to riding requires some retraining to introduce leg aids and to teach the horse how to balance with a rider aboard. While there is no such thing as a “bomb proof” horse, the Standardbred has a very calm manner and is always aiming to please the people in his life.
Greener Pastures horses are retrained for pleasure use to the point of being well started under saddle. Depending on the horse and prospective adopter, professional training might be recommended. Any training for competitive use will of course be the responsibility of the adopter. While Standardbreds can be found competing in many disciplines they are best suited to trail riding and pleasure driving.
At the invitation of the BC Standardbred Association, Greener Pastures recently moved to a barn at the Association’s new training centre in south Surrey. The new facility is conveniently located for prospective adopters.
Anybody interested in finding out more about this program is invited to visit our website or call Program Coordinator Alina MacLeod @ 778-549-9280
There is life after racing!